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Parmadan Forest- Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary

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In our office lunchtime, one of my colleagues told me that last Saturday he along with his family visited Parmadan Forest, which was also known as Bibhutibhusan Wildlife Sanctuary. First time I heard the name and was quite surprised to notice that the Parmadan Forest is an animal sanctuary in our district(North 24 Pgs of West Bengal) and located just about 100 km from Kolkata and 25 km from Bongaon.

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He also showed me a few photographs of the forest and told me how they enjoyed their stay at WBFDCL (West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited) guesthouse. He also told Parmadan Forest situated on the banks of the Ichamati River having many deer, birds, rabbits and a large number of monkeys. It also had a children’s park and a small zoo. The nearest bus stop is at Naldugari on the 92 bus route (Bongaon-Helencha-Duttapulia Route).

These all information triggered my interest about Parmadan Forest and I started searching room in WBFDCL booking website at

https://www.wbfdc.com/

I got one four bedded room with attached bath only at Rs. 400.

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Best time to visit Parmadan Forest

The forest can be visited throughout the year but it is better to avoid the forest during the rainy season as most of the parts are flooded during that monsoon months. The winters bring many birds to the forest. Hence winters months are the best time.

How to get there

Bibhuti Bhushan Wildlife Sanctuary or Parmadan Forest is just about three and half hours’ drive from Kolkata if you reached there by your own vehicle.

The nearest rail station is Bongaon. Local trains are available from Sealdah in Kolkata. From Bongaon you will have to take an auto or toto rickshaw to Motiganj. From Motiganj take a Duttapulia bound bus and get down at Naldugri. Parmadan is about 3 km from Naldugri. You will also get Duttapulia bound buses from Ranaghat also (20 km). By Road, Parmadan is 25 km from Bongaon and about 100 km from Kolkata.

Buses: CSTC buses for Naldugri are available from Esplanade Bus Terminal. From Motiganj take a Duttapulia bound bus and get down at Naldugri. Parmadan is about 3 km from Naldugri.

We took Sealdaha mainline route up to Ranaghat and took Duttapulia bound bus and got down at Naldugri. From Naldugri we went to Parmadan Forest by a van rickshaw which took 20 Rs/head from us.

Lodging and Fooding

Forest bungalow is the best place to stay at Parmadan Forest. Bookings can be made from the divisional forest office in Barasat. Telephone: 033-25520968. Rates: double bed 250 per day; four-bed: Rs 400 per day; dormitory: Rs 600 per day.

As I have mentioned I booked it online (link is given above). We reached there around 6 pm evening. After calling the manager over the phone he came with the caretaker and escorted us to our pre-booked room. He asked about the online booking receipt. After showing that he told us the caretaker would take care of the food. The caretaker was a middle-aged person name, Nimai Mandal. Nimaida told his wife and daughter-in-law was preparing food for guest and there were only 4 options.

Veg/Fish/Egg/Chicken thali. Non-Veg thali costs Rs.150 and Veg thali Rs. 100.  Within 9 p.m he would deliver our dinner and lock the main gate. We ordered for 4 fish thali which included rice, salad, dal, fry, echorer dalna (raw jack fruit curry) and steam Katla(fish). After taking order for dinner Nimaida told within 15-20 minutes he should arrange tea and evening snacks for us and he went away. Now I got the chance to look after our room. It was quite big and the entire ground floor was ours that night. 4 bedded rooms consisted of two big double bedded rooms, one bathroom, one dining room and one kitchen with a spacious lawn. That was only at Rs. 400… UNIMAGINABLE;

After half an hour Nimaida came with Garma garam onion Pokora and tea. We satisfied our taste buds with those evening snacks started listening to the typical sound of the jungle. Nimaida once again came around 8.45 pm with our dinner. We told him to keep our dinner on the dining table. After spending a few hours we took our dinner and went to bed.

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As per Nimaida, the best thing to do in Parmadan Forest is a country boat ride through the forest or a refreshing jungle stroll watching the friendly deer dancing around. Parmadan Forest had 250 deer and the best time to watch them is when they were fed by the Forest officials. Currently, their feeding time is at 4:00 pm and 9:00 am. The beautiful Ichamati River flows through Parmadan Forest.

In that morning we woke up early around 5.30 am and started our jungle strolls.  Really we got lost amid nature. The marvelous greenery of the forest which definitely brought our youth back. Our mind and body would definitely wave in the rhythm of Ichamati River after seeing the panoramic beauty of nature, which was a feast for the eyes. We also watched the beehives on the trees and observed their movements after they collect the honey. The bowed bamboo trees which have created their own shelter would also astonish you.

Few families might carry picnic gears and wanted to check in but outside food was not allowed inside. A nice parking space is available there. The adjoining children’s park in an enclosure really makes the place eco-friendly. Though poorly maintained, it is still adorned with slip and swings. Honestly, the travelers who would be visiting this Sanctuary would not find 5 Points or 7 Points types of tourist attraction in the forest, but still, it was a worth visit.

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After breakfast, we started our boat riding on Ichamati. From the Bibhutibhushan Wild Life Sanctuary view of the winding Ichamati River beside the deer park is also breath-taking. The village huts on the opposite side of the river complete the whole scenery. The site of the fishermen throwing their fishing nets in the Ichamati River also fascinated us.

After doing our boat ride we went to our lodge and Nimaida brought our lunch. Then we checked out and started our journey way back to our home. We protected all these portraits in the camera of our heart.

Now I want to share few points as per my experience after visiting Parmadan Forest-

1.      The sanctuary began in 1964. In 1995 it got its present name after the renowned Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.

2.      Parmadan Forest is heaven for bird watchers. You will get to see peacocks, woodpeckers, sankhacheel, nilkhantha, fultusi, and many others.

3.      The Sanctuary comprises of trees such as Shishu, minjiri, tut, Arjun, shimul, Shishir, bamboo, and many others. Officials must take proper care of trees.

4.      After paying a very nominal entry fee of Rs.60/head, you were allowed to enter into the sanctuary if you wanted a day visit. If you are staying in a forest lodge no need to pay an entry fee.

5.      There is a small children’s park, but it paints a ragged picture of the sanctuary as the swings and slips were poorly maintained.

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6.      Frequency of auto/toto was very poor and you have to walk down a few meters to reach the forest.

7.      The forest had many snakes and leeches. So you need to move prepared with salt and torch.

8.      Do not expect for A class facilities.

9.      Roads remain covered with mud during monsoon making it inaccessible in some part of the forest.

10.    The deer’s are offered food daily at 9 AM & 3 PM. This “show” must not be missed. While reaching the spot, the entire population of deer’s’ community was present there, looking anxiously for their food to come with occasional barking, as a sign of impatience!

11.    Don’t forget to carry the medicines for urgent requirements as there are no medicine shops nearby.

12.    Try not to make noises inside the forest. Don’t disturb the birds or pick anything from plants.

13.    If you want to enjoy the taste of the fresh fish then you can take it from the fisherman.

14.    Avoid carrying plastic bags or throwing plastic goods.

15. Carry mosquito repellent also.

Also read JALDAPARA JUNGLE SAFARI

POINT TO BE NOTED From the official source I had been informed that the forest rest house is now closed by the WBFDCL (due to maintenance) so it remains locked in spite of being in an advantageous location beside Ichamati River.

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Last updated on 14.01.21

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